When your air conditioner is clean and running correctly, it’s expected you won’t be smelling anything strange. Unexpected air conditioner noises and weird smells are a clue that something is off. If your air conditioner is past its prime or you haven’t had service completed within the last year, they can be a clear sign you need professional air conditioning repair in West Columbia.
Here are six of the most common air conditioner smells and how you can resolve them.
1. Central Air Conditioner Smells Like Chemicals
If your air conditioner smells bad when turned on, especially a chemical scent, isn’t a good sign. You might also report your:
- Air conditioner smells like paint thinner
- Home air conditioner smells sweet
These sweet, chemical scents are typically a sign that your air conditioner is suffering from a refrigerant leak. Your system relies on this gas to move heat through copper coils, which can break out over time.
4 Clues You Are Dealing with a Refrigerant Leak
In addition to the odd smell, here are four other clues that you are experiencing a refrigerant leak.
- Bubbling or hissing sounds when your air conditioner is cooling.
- Ice on refrigerant lines or the evaporator coil.
- Difficulty keeping your house comfortable or reaching your desired temperature.
- Higher electrical costs.
How You Can Repair It
A refrigerant leak requires experienced repairs from a heating and cooling company like Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc.. Your cooling pro will pinpoint and repair the leak before recharging your air conditioner with refrigerant.
Resolving a refrigerant leak often costs between $225 and $1,600, per nationwide averages compiled by HomeAdvisor. Your exact cost will depend on the location and severity of the leak, as well as how much time it takes to repair.
If your air conditioner was installed prior to 2010, there’s a high probability it has R-22 or Freon refrigerant. This refrigerant is no longer being made as a result of its harmful effects on the ozone layer. Due to this, repairs can be significantly expensive so it may be best to do air conditioning installation in this situation.
2. Air Conditioner Smells Like Gas
If your air conditioner smells like rotten eggs, there’s likely nothing wrong with it. But there’s a significant likelihood you have a natural gas leak in your home. Natural gas has a sulfur-like additive to signal you when there’s a leak, as the gas can be deadly in big amounts.
How You Can Fix It
If you detect a sulfur or rotten egg odor, we recommend:
- Turning off your gas supply.
- Opening windows.
- Evacuating your home as soon as possible.
- Getting in touch with your gas company immediately.
3. Air Conditioner Smells Musty
People who call us to report this situation often mention their air conditioner smells like feet, dirty socks or a locker room when it’s on. Also called dirty sock syndrome, this smell is usually caused by a dirty evaporator coil that has mold, mildew and bacteria buildup. Moisture can also make your home air conditioner smell bad. Dirty sock syndrome is most often seen in locations where you use heating at night and during the morning before switching to cooling later on.
How to Fix It
The best way to prevent dirty sock syndrome is to regularly change your air filter and schedule annual air conditioning maintenance with Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc.. We’ll keep the evaporator coil clean and the drainage system unblocked, since stagnant water can also result in nasty odors.
4. Air Conditioner Smells Like Vinegar
If you are living with air conditioner mildew smell or an acidic, vinegar-like odor, it could be prompted by several situations, like:
- A clogged filter
- Too much condensation
- Plugged condensate pan or drain line
- Moldy air conditioner or ductwork
How to Fix It
Check your filter first. If you haven’t changed it within the last three months and can’t see light through it, we recommend replacing it. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, call Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. at 803-265-4208.
5. Air Conditioner Smells Like Burning Plastic
If you’re noticing an air conditioner burning smell or that your air conditioner smells like fish, there could be a number of things wrong. These involve:
- Broken capacitator that’s overheating the motor.
- Motor that requires lubrication.
- Broken fan belt.
- Electrical issue.
Electrical malfunctions should be examined immediately to prevent a fire. If you detect burning plastic when your air conditioner is operating, shut it off and call us at 803-265-4208 immediately.
6. Air Conditioner Smells Like Cat Pee
A strong ammonia odor means there might be mold spreading in your air conditioner or ductwork. The smell isn’t the mold itself, but the mycotoxins that mold produces.
How to Fix It
Mycotoxins are hazardous to your health. That’s why it’s important to have a professional like Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. look at your air conditioner and ductwork and clean it when recommended.
Our Specialists Can Eliminate Strange Air Conditioner Smells Quickly
You deserve to be comfy in your home and shouldn’t have an air conditioner that smells bad. When you are looking for relief from your noxious air conditioner, give us a call at 803-265-4208. We’ll determine the issue quickly and resolve it at a reasonable.